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Changing the XP environment - Getting started

P: 2
Hi there.

I work for an AV hire company that also deals with a lot of Windows XP laptops. Before they can be sent out, I have to configure them to display a certain wallpaper, have specific shortcuts on the desktop (namely Microsoft Office and Windows Media Player, among other things), disable any screensavers and use specific power options. I've normally got a lot of other work to do, and preparing a pile of laptops can take quite a while.

I'm just wondering, how much of this process can be automated through a script or a simple program? From the information I could gather, it seems that it's possible to configure some of these settings through Windows Powershell, but I'm not sure I'd have the time to update all of the computers to dotNet 2.0 and install Powershell as well.

I have to admit, my knowledge of C programming is pretty basic, though I've managed to make some fairly complex patches for a game called NetHack, which has had chunks grafted onto it by the DevTeam over the past 20 years or so. According to more experienced programmers it is in drastic need of a rewrite - Probably not the best way for me to learn! :)

So would C / C++ be the best way to go with this? Is it even possible? If anyone can offer any insight or point me to some useful tutorials or articles, I'd be extremely grateful.
Feb 23 '07 #1
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3 Replies


Motoma
Expert 2.5K+
P: 3,235
I think the easiest method of doing this would be to copy the user settings from the Documents and Settings folder.

Or use cloning software to do the install.
Feb 23 '07 #2

P: 2
Thanks for the ideas Motoma - your ideas would be easier than writing an app specifically for the job, but that's sort of what I was hoping to do. :)

I've managed to create the necessary desktop shortcuts using VB script through the Windows Scripting Host, but I'm having trouble changing the desktop theme and power settings. I've tried using keypresses to change all that and so far I've managed to launch the Display Properties (desk.cpl) this way.

The problem is, I don't know how to change the window focus to the Display Properties window - any subsequent scripted keypresses are processed in the explorer window that desk.cpl was launched from.
Feb 25 '07 #3

Motoma
Expert 2.5K+
P: 3,235
Thanks for the ideas Motoma - your ideas would be easier than writing an app specifically for the job, but that's sort of what I was hoping to do. :)

I've managed to create the necessary desktop shortcuts using VB script through the Windows Scripting Host, but I'm having trouble changing the desktop theme and power settings. I've tried using keypresses to change all that and so far I've managed to launch the Display Properties (desk.cpl) this way.

The problem is, I don't know how to change the window focus to the Display Properties window - any subsequent scripted keypresses are processed in the explorer window that desk.cpl was launched from.
Write an app that extracts the user settings to the proper folder :P
Feb 25 '07 #4

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